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Slower Border Crossings Expected

By Joyce Kryszak

Buffalo, NY – Travelers are being cautioned about some potentially longer waits crossing the border during the upcoming busy travel season.

Memorial Day weekend is ahead. But if you plan to celebrate in Canada, officials say that you should be prepared to take awhile getting there.

One of the busiest travel routes will be backed up even a bit more because of road work. Resurfacing began Saturday on Highway 405 from the Lewiston Queenston bridge toll plaza to the Queen Elizabeth Way. And that means the often sluggish bridge crossing will be even slower.

Kevin Corsaro is public affairs officer for the Buffalo Field Office of United States Customs and Border Protection. Corsaro said it might be better to pick a different bridge.

Although it won't help you in time for Memorial Day, Corsaro said it is easy to enroll in the Nexxus program. It takes about six weeks and a background check in both countries to qualify for the fast-track security pass.

And Corsaro said it could give travelers an early advantage when tougher travel requirements kick in next January.

But if United States Senator Charles Schumer of New York and other elected officials have their way, the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative would be postponed.

Corsaro said border agents are hoping that doesn't happen because they can check passports much quicker and easier than multiple forms of identification.

In the meantime Corsaro said be to prepared with as much documentation as possible when you venture over the border to Canada.

More information about what kind of identification qualifies, as well as regular updates on bridge congestion is available on the Customs and Border Services web site.

Click the "listen" icon above to hear Joyce Kryszak's story now or use your podcasting software to download it to your computer or iPod.